Title Refrigeration Emissions and Leakage - Blended learning for Alternative Refrigerants in New Equipment
Project Number UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-665
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
REAL Alternatives addressed skills shortages in technicians in the stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sectors. The focus was on carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrocarbon and HFO refrigerants. It provided learning resources to improve knowledge from the point of view of safety, efficiency, reliability and containment.
This has been delivered through blended learning - a mix of e-learning, face-to-face training materials, practical exercises, assessments and an e-library of learning resources - the programmes brought together industry knowledge and expertise from across Europe. REAL Alternatives also built on the established REAL Skills Europe & REAL Zero containment approaches.
This two year project was led by a consortium of six partners from across Europe and was co-funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. The consortium included training and professional institutes as well as employer representative bodies.
The aim of the project was to improve opportunities for life long learning and employability amongst the 230,000 service engineers, technicians, craftsmen and designers currently working in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector. This was achieved by raising skills related to innovative environmental technologies using Carbon Dioxide, Flammable and low Flammable and Ammonia Refrigeration systems to replace existing high global warming refrigerant technologies in new equipment.
Specific objectives were to improve understanding of skills needs for these new technologies which has been achieved by the publication of a Training Needs report; to raise skills levels of both new entrants and existing workforce; provide a more consistent approach to training across Europe; encourage co-operation between employers and training providers with a blended e-learning and practical training programme syllabus; update existing VET schemes and provide resources to enhance their deliverability and work-relevance; shared best practice and emerging knowledge between training providers and employers. The programme supported industry in reducing the environmental impact of newly installed or refurbished building services, process engineering, food distribution plant and storage equipment.
The project results have included: a report on needs in Europe related to alternative refrigerant training, a website hosting information on using alternative refrigerants and a set of blended learning tools for use by technicians and others, blended learning tools (workbooks, e-learning and assessments). The learning tools were piloted in Sept/Oct 2014 and the final version was released in 2015. It offered a multi-lingual web based delivery alongside vocational training programmes and assessment. This provided low cost knowledge transfer. It also included a mechanism to share technical expertise amongst partner countries with an e-library of existing technical to support learners on the website.
The REAL Alternatives consortium has achieved the following:
- A report Clarifying alternative refrigerant training needs and opportunities in Europe - work package led by London South Bank University, UK
- A specification for e-learning and sharing relevant resources available in Europe also led by, London South Bank University, UK
- An e-learning process, integrating practical learning materials, resources and assessments in a multilingual format, led by e-learning specialist department i-net at Limburg Catholic University College(KHLim), Belgium
- The piloting and testing of the materials to ensure suitability for the target audience of vocational learners by a wide range of European stakeholders during the autumn of 2014, led by Associazione Tecnici del Freddo (ATF), Italy
- The impact of the project and evaluation of its success was led by, IKKE training centre Duisburg, Germany
- Publicity, promotion, and stakeholder engagement was managed jointly by, Association of European Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Contractors (AREA) & Institute of Refrigeration, UK
- Project Management by The Institute of Refrigeration, UK
- Identified opportunities for long term sustainability of outputs was led by PROZON recycling programme, Poland.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Transportation and Storage
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply
open and distance learning
program or curricula
Outputs include a resource website and e-library of additional resources, as well as a summary of the training needs report. These can be found on the project website.
The full learning programme was launchd in early 2015 and is available for free registration in project languages from the website.